Harold Franklyn

Medals awarded

  • Distinguished Service Order
  • Military Cross
  • 1914 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-1920
  • Victory Medal 1914-1919 with MID Oakleaf
  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Defence Medal 1939-1945
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • King George V Jubilee Medal 1935
  • King George VI Coronation Medal 1937
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953
  • Croix de Guerre (France)

Medals are shown left to right, as per the bullet point list above.

Harold Edmund Franklyn served in both the First and Second World Wars.

Born in November 1885 in Cork, Ireland, Franklyn joined the regiment in 1905 and rose to the rank of General in 1944. His father had been Colonel of the regiment from 1906 to 1914.

During the First World War, Franklyn was awarded the DSO, MC and the Croix de Guerre as well as being Mentioned in Despatches no less than six times.

He is also credited with fighting in one of the most crucial actions of the Dunkirk campaign. On 21 May 1940, Franklyn, then a Divisional commander, launched a counter-attack against the Germans west of Arras. The attack was small in scale and designed to buy time but it so alarmed the Germans that their advance was held for a crucial 24 hours. This time was put to good use in consolidating the rear-guard in front of Dunkirk which, in turn, led to the evacuation of over 300,000 men from France when original estimates had talked more in the region of 35,000.

From 1943 until 1945 Franklyn was Commander-in-Chief of Home Forces and Colonel of the Green Howards from 1939-1949.

Major-General Brian Cuff remembered his friend General Sir Harold Franklyn KCB DSO MC like this:

I came to know him more intimately in the evening of his life after his retirement, when love of his home, affection for his friends and duty to his neighbours prevailed. He was a very perfect gentle Knight.

Harold’s son John also served with the regiment during the Second World War. Find out more about him here.